Choreographer Jonathan Burrows and composer Matteo Fargion have been collaborators for over thrity years, the past two decades of which they've built a body of duets which straddle the line between dance, music, performance art and comedy.
The work has drawn a loyal international following for its integrity, openness and independent stance. Watching a Burrows and Fargion performance has been described as like being invited into their living room, and this conversation with audience is central to their performance practice, equal together under the same roof. Both artists studied classical music composition with composer Kevin Volans, which knowledge and experience informs their frequent use of written score, as a way to work with duration and as a distancing mechanism from more conventional notions of performance. They describe all their work as music, and are often engaged in acts of translation where what was heard is now seen, or what was seen becomes spoken language. Their performance practice extends also to collaborative workshops with other artists, students, writers and curators from dance and related mediums. Burrows also wrote the widely used A Choreographer's Handbook, drawn from his experience of leading five years of conversational workshops. They perform regularly around the world, presenting different works in different combinations, frequently for non-theatre spaces. Their philosophy is that all work is new at the point of performance, and they often don't announce new pieces, integrating the new into the body of work without further comment.